3-D Stem Cell Culture
HyStem™ Stem Cell Culture
The First Customizable Synthetic ECM
Sigma® is pleased to introduce HyStem, the first customizable synthetic ECM to enable three-dimensional culture of stem cells.
The HyStem platform offers you, the researcher, control over growth factor incorporation, attachment factor incorporation, ECM protein incorporation, rigidity of the hydrogel, and cell encapsulation vs. top plating
Because HyStem is a synthesized matrix and not a biological extract, researchers are able to closely control the composition of their cells’ environment. HyStem’s components include chemically synthesized HyStem (thiolated Hyaluronic acid), Extralink (thiol-reactive crosslinker), and degassed Water and biologically purified Gelin-S (denatured collagen).
HyStem kits are optimal for culturing stem cells whose natural environments are rich in hyaluronic acid. The HyStem hydrogel scaffold closely mimics the rich, natural extracellular matrix environment, complete with hyaluronic acid and collagen fibrils, while offering the flexibility to customize with appropriate growth factors, attachment factors, and proteins.
The HyStem platform includes three unique members
Figure 1: HyStem provides a complex, three-dimensional
environment, rich in hyaluronic acid, in which to
culture stem cells.
Figure 2: HyStem closely mimics the natural extracellular environment.
Hyaluronan Relevancy for Stem Cells
HyStem hydrogels are composed of HyStem (thiol-modified hyaluronan, HA) and Extralink™ (thiol-reactive crosslinking agent). HA is the simplest glycosaminoglycan (a class of negatively charged polysaccharides) and a major constituent of the ECM1,2. Embryonic ECM possesses a high quantity of glycosaminoglycans of which HA is predominant3. Human embryonic stem cells (H1, H9 and H13 lines) have been shown to express both CD44 and CD168 (RHAMM), which are HA receptors. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have also been cultivated by encapsulating them in HA hydrogels. These cells were grown for 15 days without detectable differentiation. After recovery from the hydrogels, the hESCs could be differentiated using endothelial growth media supplemented with VEGF3.
HA is also present in large amounts in the ECM of embryonic livers, fetal livers and the putative stem cell niche within the liver (the Canals of Hering). Hepatic stem and progenitors cells (hepatoblasts) have been successfully cultured for over 4 weeks without differentiation when encapsulated in HA hydrogels and grown with a defined media (Kubota’s medium). Additionally, these hepatic progenitor cells express CD44 at high levels4.